This week we’ll travel to Poland as we feature their 20 Zlotych p149b 1982 note.  You can get this note at a special price for the next 2 weeks! This colorful note portrays Romuald Traugutt, who was born in Poland in 1826 when it was under Russian Rule.  In fact, starting in the late 18th century, Poland basically ceased to exist for over a century as Russia took over, and various efforts to overthrow Russian rule failed.  One such effort was the January Uprising of 1863, which was led by Traugutt from October 1863 to August 1864.  He had previously served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian army but retired in 1862 and became part of a group of Polish Nationalists.  Unfortunately, the Polish Nationalists were hugely outnumbered by the Russian army and not well trained.  When the January uprising failed, Russian rule tightened and the rebel leaders were killed, including Traugutt who was hanged in August 1864.  Poland did not gain its independence until 1918, but Traugutt was still hailed as a hero for his bravery and loyalty to Poland, and thus was honored on this banknote!  It’s also worth pointing out the lovely eagle coat of arms that is shown on the front of this note.  This coat of arms was adopted after Poland gained its independence and is very similar to the current Polish coat of arms, except now the eagle wears a crown and is depicted on a red background.

As a side note, do you all know what “guilloches” are?  I had never heard this word until I entered the world of banknotes, and I had a vague idea of what they were based on viewing them on various banknotes, but when researching for this blog-ette I decided to officially look it up since this note has a splendid example of guilloches.  So, if you were wondering, they are decorative intricate patterns of curved lines created by a machine, and the lines look as if interwoven.  In the case of banknotes it can help prevent forgery.  “Guilloches” can also be used as an architectural term meaning an intricate engraving on metal, stone, wood, etc.  So interesting!

Country: Poland
Denomination: 20 Zlotych
Pick #: 149b
Year: 1982
Grade: UNC
Coloration: Brown/Purple
Depictions: Romuald Traugutt; Eagle Crest; Guilloches
Note Size: 5 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
Continent: Europe
Watermark: Pattern through note